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3 Practical Tips on How to Live a Fun and Meaningful Life

3 Practical Tips on How to Live a Fun and Meaningful Life

Okay, show of hands: who worries about having a boring and mediocre life?

No, your life is not as boring as your grandma’s (unless you have one of those active grandmas who dance salsa on Thursdays), but you might cave in to society’s expectations, and you may have a tendency to go for “the safe choice” just so you can please your proud and pestering parents.

And so life can get a little boring. Not because you suck, or the whole world hates you, but because we live in a world where you have to take action on the kind of life you wish to lead.

Let’s talk about how you can create a more fun and meaningful life for yourself with these three practical tips.

Begin with the end in mind

Imagine that you visit the doctor’s office today and discover that you have an incurable disease. The doctor gives you six months to live—at most—and that’s being optimistic.

You don’t know what to say.

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Your mind keeps playing scenes from your life, like you’re watching a movie about yourself—only you’re not satisfied with the ending. A sea of questions swim around in your head:

  • Why do I have to die before my 97-year-old grandma? Can’t we just swap? It’s so unfair.
  • Who will show up at my deathbed?
  • How will I be remembered? What will people say at my funeral?

It’s never fun to imagine yourself on a deathbed, but it is a necessary exercise because it forces you to reflect on what’s truly important in your life. It helps you to appreciate life, clarify your goals, and most importantly, make the most of your day.

Use this exercise from one of my favourite authors to create a more fun and meaningful life for yourself, so that when the time comes, you won’t have any regrets on your deathbed.

Choose the more outrageous option

We’re constantly told to make safe decisions throughout our lives, but there are two problems with that:

  1. Fun and meaningful choices are never “safe” (that’s what makes them fun and meaningful), and
  2. “Safe” options are about as exciting as watching your grandma ironing T-shirts on a Sunday afternoon.

When given the chance, always choose the more outrageous option, and don’t let the naysayers stop you.

I’ve often been called crazy and naive by my peers, but I’m OK with that because I’ve been stepping outside of my comfort zone. I’ve lived with a host family in Barcelona, moved halfway across the world to study creative writing (yeah, you should see the looks on people’s faces when I tell them that), and jumped out of an aeroplane.

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See what happens when you make more outrageous decisions? You gain valuable experiences that you’ll never forget. You meet people who are equally or more insane than you, and as a result, you feel inspired to live a more fun and meaningful life. I dare you to start making a few more outrageous decisions on your own. Remember, you decide what’s outrageous enough for you. Your mileage may vary. My tip is to begin small and work your way up.

As you live your life this way, you’ll soon look back at your “outrageous” decisions and realise that they weren’t that crazy after all. Instead, you’ll find yourself smiling.

Befriend your fears and move forward

We learn to fear failure from a very early age. We bury our faces in shame when we fail an exam, and blush when we ask stupid questions. We think we suck when we fail to get a job. Of course, this is a recipe for disaster: it’s exactly this kind of fear that leads us to have boring and mediocre lives.

So, what can we do about it?

Fortunately, most fears are learned. They’re a product of our environment and with a little help, we can begin to unlearn them. Think back to the last time you were scared. Perhaps you had a class presentation or a job interview. Your hands and face may have been sweating like crazy and all you wanted was for it to be over, but as soon as you exited the room, the fear disappeared.

Sound familiar?

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That’s because failure is not a matter of life and death. It’s an internal struggle; a nasty voice inside your head that tells you that you’re not good enough.

The problem is that your body responds to this voice in the same way it would fight off a sabre-toothed tiger. When you take your fear for what it is (a learned behaviour that has been internalised), and ask yourself: “what’s the worse thing that could happen?” you often find that yes, you might embarrass yourself, but it’s not the end of the world.

Be proud that you did something instead. Most people never do.

Go ahead, set sail to a more fun and meaningful life

Please don’t be one of those people who stand still. If you don’t try, you’ll never move forward, and you’ll have a boring and mediocre life.

Something tells me that you’re different—something tells me that you’ll move forward one outrageous choice at a time because you know that’s the only way to live a fun and meaningful life. So go ahead, be more outrageous.

You don’t need anyone’s permission.

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You don’t need to be afraid.

You don’t need to be perfect.

But you do need to act now. Set sail, my friend, and leave the safe harbour behind. After all, you don’t want to have any regrets on your deathbed now, do you?

What are your tips on how to live a fun and meaningful life? Please leave your outrageous thoughts in the comments.


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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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